SatanFATHER GEORGE RUTLER
Satan never looks like Satan.
Satan hides behind the plural: he pretends to be more than he is, intimidating others by celebrity and popular support. "What do you have to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth?" But in the presence of the Truth, even Satan cannot lie. He drops the plural and confesses what no mortal yet knew: "I know who you are — the Holy One of God!" (Mark 1:24). Our Creator knows more about the problem of evil than we do. Logically, if God did not exist, evil would not be a problem. It would be just an energy equivalent to good. In every age, those who have cooperated with Satan have solved the problem of evil to their satisfaction by saying that it is good. Many of these figures have had a seductive power over people that cannot be explained by simple human charm and persuasiveness.
Satan hates not being God. He is only a creature. His hatred refracts into a hatred of the Church, which is the only power against him in this world. He does not waste his time on false religions, heretics and braggarts. He hates the Sacrament of Reconciliation and tears down Confessionals because he wants to separate man from God. "Although Satan may act in the world out of hatred for God and his kingdom in Christ Jesus, and although his action may cause grave injuries — of a spiritual nature and, indirectly, even of a physical nature — to each man and to society, the action is permitted by divine providence which with strength and gentleness guides human and cosmic history" (Catechism of the Catholic Church #395).
Satan never looks like Satan. He drapes himself in celebrity and humor and humanitarianism, using celebrity to mislead, humor to mock, and humanitarianism to de-humanize. One hatred in him always exposes him for what he is. Because our Lord said that we must become like little children to inherit the Kingdom of heaven, Satan hates babies. With great wisdom, the older Rite for the Baptism of a Child begins: "I exorcise you, unclean spirit, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Come forth, depart from this servant of God, for He commands you, accursed and damned spirit, He who walked upon the sea and extended His right hand to Peter as he was sinking."
Father George William Rutler. "Satan." From the Pastor (February 5, 2012).
Reprinted with permission of Father George W. Rutler.
Since 1988 his weekly television program has been broadcast worldwide on EWTN. Father Rutler has published 17 books, including: Cloud of Witnesses - Dead People I Knew When They Were Alive, Coincidentally: Unserious Reflections on Trivial Connections, A Crisis of Saints: Essays on People and Principles, Brightest and Best, Saint John Vianney: The Cure D'Ars Today, Crisis in Culture, and Adam Danced: The Cross and the Seven Deadly Sins.
Copyright © 2012 Father George W. Rutler
Not all articles published on CERC are the objects of official Church teaching, but these are supplied to provide supplementary information.